Friday, 26 May 2017

3 years of Modi: Where we stand?

Modi will be celebrating completion of 3 years as PM soon. Celebrations why?
  • His Gujarat riots legacy is still intact.
  • He seeks to overturn the past associated with the era of the Congress, which had an overlay of liberal and Left thought.
  • His larger than the life personality cult in BJP is so dangerous that without him BJP would be reduced to a ragtag outfit.
  • Winning the elections with rightist anti Muslim narratives leads us to nowhere. 
  • It could be very well destructive, with Kashmir [with 96% Muslims of 9 million population] totally alienated and their desire to remain with India is close to zero. Thinking that brute force will be enough to hold back Kashmir and integrate it with India will be futile. No effort was made to win their hearts or engage people of Kashmir politically and economically. Our mighty Army can at best can kill few thousands of people but nine million Kashmiri's can't be liquidated.
  • Ironically, BJS/BJP founder Syam Prasad Mookerjee was Nehru's minister in 1949, when Article 370 was finalized granting special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir which was never implemented in letter and spirit.
  • The BJP’s landslide victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has only fortified Kashmiri's fears and its alienation. Modi will not change into appeasing Muslims or minorities and it is a matter of time we end up losing Kashmir. 
  • Much hyped Swachh Bharat has become more a advertising tool and reality on the ground remained same with near total planning & implementation failure. So is 'Make in India' campaign which achieved nothing except visual publicity for Modi.
  • India's per capita income is under $1700 per annum. To become a developed nation this has to grow to at least $12,000 per annum which will take several decades, if all goes well. 
  • Even to reach China's present level of $4,000 per annum, it will take more than a decade.
  • At this nascent stage embarking on a political campaign with festival like celebrations and campaign of Modi's achievements is nothing but mocking the poor.
  • The realities to day are:
    - unemployment is at its highest.
    - banks remain on the edge of collapsing.
    - farmer's suicides continue unabated.
    - the less talked about education & healthcare it is better.
    - whole sale inflation is low or negative but retail inflation is pinching poor.
    - the reasonable price situation is attributable to low crude oil prices only.
    - foreign relations are at its worst.
    - the demonetization 2016 got simply busted and its objectives grounded.
    - so far government has failed to release any official details of its impact.
    - to accept and adopt to 'cashless transactions' and pay its charges.
    - live with harsh and ruthlessness of bank-men and tax-men.
    - our ratings remained at 'baa' [near junk status] with excessive national debt.
  • Stock markets, fueled by sentiments during the past three years, its indices have reached phenomenal levels enriching investors to the tune of Rs.50 lakh crores. Only rich became further richer.
  • After demonetization, tax base is gradually expanding and govt is becoming richer. That is fine. The informal sector which creates most jobs especially for unskilled & unqualified and operates on wafer thin margins are seriously impacted and causality is its jobs. 
  • The intended or unintended consequence of the GST will be that informal businesses will be punished and compelled to wind up.
  • While GST and 'one nation - one tax' slogan appears impressive, it seriously undermines the autonomy of the states and its freedom and violates the federal spirit enshrined in constitution. The intended or unintended consequence of the GST will be that informal businesses will be punished and and pushed out of businesses. States will have to beg central government for every financial need and relief amounts needed due to calamities. Centre gives guarantee for a period of five years to make good any losses but its past performance in this type of matters is not encouraging. While consumers might not get any immediate benefit and the imagination that benefits will follow from 2nd year on wards might very well be a myth. Our business houses are notorious for their propensity to retain advantages and pass on the disadvantages to consumers. Even our governments does the same to its citizens. The low crude oil price benefits were retained by central government to the extent of 80% and consumers got only 20% during the past 3 years.
  • Young people haven’t found jobs or economic opportunities. The middle class is listless with the economy in doldrums, more due to the sluggish world economy. 
  • The business class is unhappy as Team Modi hasn’t done anything substantive to further the ease of doing business in India.
  • More than comfortable pile of foreign reserves of $370 billion is not a cause of exultation any longer.
  • The BJP’s victories are its own, and opposition can mourn their hopelessness, but the country has a life of its own. The question is whether the Modi government has managed to change the nation’s affairs for the better in the past three years. The answer is big 'No'.
  • Gujarat’s transformation under then chief minister Modi for over a decade between 2001 and 2014, is based on perception rather than facts. The development is based on economic statistics rather than the parameters that reflect well being of lower classes. There was no critical scrutiny of the claim by the independent economists. The harsh truth is that his claims of success as Gujarat CM were overly exaggerated.
  • In his maiden speech in the Lok Sabha in June 2014, Modi said that the Gujarat model could not be universalized, and that India being a vast country, there was a need for many different models. 
  • The hyped interactions by Modi with foreigners and his meetings were just photo-opportunities and didn’t translate into any worthwhile business deals.
Modi government completes three years in power with the realization that India and the world are complex places, and there is no way to change things with a wave of the Modi's magic wand. The Modi government has to got down rhetorical claims to stand on the ground and face the reality of the economy and India’s position in the world. The motive of these three year completion celebrations appears to be to create media hype for the next round of state elections, going into the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its 
weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest .... Cardinal Roger Mahony

Read Illusions of Recovery

My View:
Modi's electoral victories are more due to opposition failing to provide themselves as viable alternative and traditional Congress tainted with scams & corruption. Other than Hindu fundamentalists, no sane person subscribes to Modi's philosophy of alienating minorities especially Muslims. His insatiable desire for publicity portraying failed schemes as successful schemes reflects his mythomaniacness.  While so far Modi & BJP appear to be scam & corruption free, their lavish styles doesn't qualify them to be sincere and honest people of India. The way BJP spent money in 2014 elections and in UP and Delhi elections etc, the estimates are mind boggling. Modi's 'populism' tendencies relegating rationalism to back and practicing authoritarianism is perilous to the principles of democracy. He has waylaid institutions like Parliament, Supreme Court, RBI etc that are bulldozed, media manipulations and CBI & ED raids limited to their political opponents is pushing democracy in India into peril. Job addition during 2016 was a meager 2.30 lakhs against one million aspirants added to job market every month. However India has time again proved its resilience and survived external & internal aggression's on its democracy and this too will pass away. No dictator ever lived forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment